In ancient times, the wreath was commonly known as a diadem, from the Greek word diadema, meaning "a thing bound around." A wreath can be created from many items, such as various leaves, flowers, and fabric. Styles of wreaths range from ornamental display to head wreaths like those worn by the Greek and Romans.
Types of Wreaths and Their Uses
Most anything can be used to create a wreath. Leaves, flexible branches, dried flowers, blooming flowers, fabric, herbs, vines, and more can be crafted into beautiful bundled works of art. Combining different elements can add color, fragrance, and texture to a wreath. Silk flowers or vines can also be used providing a lasting piece of bound decor. Other common materials used in wreath making include evergreens, holly, hemlock, olive leaves, ivy, bay leaves, laurel, and mistletoe.
In Ancient Greece, the wreath was given to Olympic champions as a trophy of their accomplishments. Later, head wreaths signified royalty or social standing. Other wreaths were used for military status symbols. In religion, the wreath has had many meanings associated with it; its circular form offered meanings of everlasting life or family circle.
When hung on a door, a wreath symbolizes a welcoming greeting. Braided wreaths either worn or displayed offered a symbol of unity, peace, and spiritual ties. Other meanings include growth, eternity, good will, and prosperity.